Searching for a place to settle, Moses Decker had made his way by ax in 1846 to what would later become Viroqua. Two of his sons, Solomon and Reasoner, helped put up a cabin and returned later that year to Illinois. In 1847 the two sons, accompanied by the entire family, returned to settle in their new home.
By 1850 a second house of hewn logs was raised not far from the original and that may be the house which still stands on East Decker Street. In 1850 the site which Decker envisioned as a village was surveyed and plated by Samuel McMichael. By 1851 the village needed a meeting place and so Decker, with the help of other settlers, held a “Raising Bee” and constructed an 18’x22′ house which stood where the Temple Theatre now stands. A gift to the community, it first became the Courthouse, a schoolroom, a church and a place for social and political meetings, with each event lending its “air” of sobriety or gaiety to the room as was required. In August of 1851 the village population consisted of the families of Moses Decker, Rufus Dunlap and Orin Wisel. Late 1851 saw the addition of several more families. (Excerpt from an article by Clara Overbo with materials from the Vernon County Historical Society. Used by permission.)
The Carnegie Library was built in 1905 with funds from Andrew Carnegie, a wealthy iron and steel magnate. The Viroqua library was one of some 2,000 libraries he built across America. It was renamed the McIntosh Memorial Library many years later when Margaret McIntosh donated the funds to expand and remodel it in her father’s memory.